Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?
This car is not ‘good value’. Sure, the base A1 is one of the cheapest ways to get a premium Deutsche badge glued to the front of a daily driver, but if it was value you were looking for Euro value you’d be clicking through to our Volkswagen Polo review.
For the before-on-road cost of $30,500 you’ll get a small-looking 6.5-inch multimedia display with a somewhat-impressive eight-speaker stereo, 16-inch alloys, climate control and cruise control, light sensors, rain sensors and, an interior LED lighting package (nice premium touch).
But wait. That car won’t look anywhere near as slick as ours. Cue the ‘Active Package 1’ which, at the time of writing is no longer available, but new A1s can be similarly specified if you configure them here.
The pack includes 17-inch, two-tone five-spoke alloys, ‘Platinum Grey’ highlights for the wheelarches, front-spoiler, rear bumper, boot lid and side-sill trims with matching exterior mirrors. Looks good. That’ll be $3850, thanks.
You’ll also notice the little multimedia screen isn’t doing much other than playing the radio. Not so for our car which had the ‘Technik package’. This includes built-in sat-nav and an upgraded sound system with dual SD card slots (for your music. No, really…) and a 20GB hard drive. For the ability to time-travel back to 2005 when those features were cutting-edge, Audi asks $2490.
You will get music streaming via Bluetooth, but there are no USB ports, even for charging. Oh, and we’re not quite done yet. If you want the xenon headlights that look like they were from this decade, that’ll be an additional $1850.
The Audi badges on the front, rear and steering wheel do come free of charge, however.
Add all that up, and for a car not quite as well equipped as a $19,690 Mazda 2 Maxx you’ll be paying $39,680.
Not only is that a lot of money for some rather dated features (and we haven’t even gotten to the safety section), but it also puts it in a price league with premium competitors a full size up like the Mercedes-Benz A180 and BMW 118i.
Perhaps the biggest problem facing this little Audi A1 is the fact that its successor is just a few months away and looks much more impressively equipped from the base model up.
It will feature large touchscreens and a digital dashboard as well as a significantly increased footprint. The styling of upcoming model is meant to bring it in line with the rest of the new Audi range, but so far that design language has proved somewhat… divisive.
On the other hand, if you’re a particular fan of the current A1’s looks as reviewed here, you may want to consider that it will soon be discontinued…